September 8, 2016
‘Why conservatives have become so averse to identity politics, I don’t understand’
James Miller writes:
Sure, I get that speaking highly of “ideas” and “evidence” sounds high-minded. And yes, the right is supposed to be focused on the individual and his unique capacities. As premier cuckservative Jonah Goldberg recently wrote in the National Review, “Classical liberalism holds that the individual is sovereign and that he or she should be judged on his own merits, not according to his tribe, his class or faith. Identity politics is hemlock to this vision.”
But is it really poisonous to the dignity of the individual conscience to recognize that who a person is matters? That, yes, we’re all individuals, but each of us belongs to various groups that help us define ourselves and create meaning in our lives?
As Samuel Huntington wrote in his book Who Are We?, “People are not likely to find in political principles the deep emotional content and meaning provided by kith and kin, blood and belonging, culture and nationality. These attachments may have little or no basis in fact but they do satisfy a deep human longing for meaningful community.”
Flawed but interesting.
For instance, one could argue that Objectivists types find “emotional content and meaning” of a sort in “political principles,” and have found a “meaningful community” based entirely on “political principles,” even if the “community” comprises a bunch of people conducting one-man purity purges on each other.
Plus he mentions Verdun and the World Trade Center as loci of communal identity but surely what caused them to become places of shared sadness in the first place was a “tribal” impulse.